A new fad seems to be attaining popularity on college campuses: Students are skipping meals in order to cut down on their calorie intake during the day so that they can use alcohol excessively in the evening.
This is producing a new syndrome, which has been labeled, “Drunkorexia”.
A research study carried out in the USA by the University of Missouri found that as many as 20% of the students surveyed admitted to following this pattern. The students wanted to save money, control their weight and get drunk faster. Women were more than three times as likely to have this disorder than men.
They would avoid the daytime calories so that they could “save them” for drinking, and thereby also help them maintain their flat stomachs. They obviously want to avoid having a “beer belly.”
And the syndrome is not limited to the USA. A philosophy undergraduate student at the University of Manchester, UK, has reported that this problem was prevalent especially among first year females. She stated that about 70% of her female friends, and often including herself, would skip eating before a night out in order to remain thin.
Virginia Osborne, Assistant Professor of Social Work and Public Health at the University of Missouri stated that Drunkorexia could have dangerous cognitive, behavioral, and physical consequences, as well as putting students at risk for developing even more serious eating disorders and alcohol addiction.
People who participate in disordered eating combined with binge drinking are also more at risk for violence, risky sexual behavior, alcohol poisoning, substance abuse and chronic diseases later in life.
She added that women metabolize alcohol in a different way to men which makes them more susceptible to damage to their vital organs.
Combining starvation and binge drinking puts young women at risk of developing more serious eating disorders or alcohol abuse problems, as well as in danger of alcohol poisoning, risky sexual behaviour and chronic diseases in later life, the researchers said.